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Bulgarian Online Shoppers Face 75% Order Rejection in EU

Date: 23.10.2009

Shoppers from Romania and Bulgaria face particularly high rejection rates when they shop on the internet, data released by the European Commission Thursday shows. The average rejection rate for the European Union is 60%.

"Better deals and greater product choice for consumers on our vast European market could be just a click of a mouse away. But in reality online shoppers are still largely confined within national borders," EU commissioner for Consumer Rights, Bulgarian Meglena Kuneva is quoted as saying.

The study, commissioned by Kuneva, includes 11,000 test orders across the EU for 100 items such as cameras, CDs, books and clothes. The failure of fulfilling the orders is mostly due to the retailerno shipping possibility to a particular country or because payments were not accepted.

Online shoppers from Romania have the most difficulties in placing their order abroad, with a 76 % rejection rate, followed by Bulgarians (75%), Latvians and Belgians (70%), Malta and Ireland. Only online shoppers from Spain and Austria had less than half of their orders rejected.

In most member states, however, even with the shipping charges, at least half of the products were 10% cheaper if ordered from another country, and 60% of European retailers say they are ready to carry out a transaction in another language while over 30% of EU consumers are willing to buy from a website in another language.

Lack of trust in the security and reliability of banking services, and violations of consumer rights are the most widespread factors stopping retailers from selling their goods in other EU states

Kuneva urged the European Parliament and EU leaders to adopt as soon as possible a so-called Consumer Rights Directive aimed at aligning EU rules for consumers, including for online consumers.

"But we don't want consumers to trust the market and venture outside their borders only to be rebuffed by traders who find it to difficult or burdensome to serve them," the Commissioner pointed out.

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